Author Archives: amardev

Instagram

I have started posting a lot of my new material on Instagram as I find I get more interaction there rather than on my own website. So if you are on Instagram follow my feed @amars_adventures.

@amars_adventures on Instagram

@amars_adventures on Instagram

Posted in travel

Srikanta Peaks in the Himalayas by Samuel Bourne

Samuel Bourne

Wooded Valley from Fulaldarn with the Srikanta Peaks in the Distance, 1860s. Albumen photograph. by Samuel Bourne

“What a mighty up bearing of mountains! What an endless vista go gigantic ranges and valleys, untold and unknown! Peak rose above peak, summit above summit, range above and beyond range, innumerable and boundless, until the mind refused to follow the eye in its attempt to comprehend the whole in one grand conception.” Samuel Bourne in The British Journal of Photography

Posted in Himalayas, Historical photography, Photography, travel, trekking

Notes from my first expedition

Trekking the Milam Malari route in the Indian Himalaya back in 1990

The author trekking the Milam Malari route in the Indian Himalaya back in 1990

While clearing out my parents garage I found an envelope containing my note from my first trek that I organised back in 1990. I had chalked out a challenging route that ran 150km through the Kumaon Himalaya and over two high passes. This trek was rarely undertaken. There were far easier treks I could have chosen but I was determined to go far off the beaten track. As it turned out we couldn’t complete the trek as we didn’t have the required permits from two districts. This trek runs along the Indo-Tibetian border and leads to a number of strategic mountain passes. After a few days on the trail we were stopped at a military checkpost and ordered to turn around. I still managed to have a great time and learned a lot from the experience.

IMG_3439 web

No contours, no scale, no detail. This was the best map that we had to take on the greatest mountain range on Earth.

 

Permit

Our inner line permit made out by the Special Police Force to provide us with assistance

 

Notes

“Any worthwhile expedition can be planned on the back of an envelope.” Bill Tilman

 

Posted in Himalayas, Maps, travel, trekking Tagged , , , , , , , , |

The fish of my dreams

Mahseer

Golden Mahseer caught at Pancheshwar, Kumaon, India

The biggest fish I ever caught, a magnificent Golden Mahseer at the confluence of the Saru and Mahakali rivers in the Kumaon Himalaya of India (1989). I was fishing with a seven foot fiberglass rod, with 12 lbs line, using a silver and brass spoon. On light gear I fought this fish for well over an hour before it tired and came into the shallows. I didn’t have a scale to weigh the fish but estimated the weight to be around 3g lbs, but the weight doesn’t matter. I can still remember every minute of the experience even though it happened over 20 years ago. Jim Corbett summed up this experience beautifully in the chapter The Fish of My Dreams in his book Man-eaters of Kumaon:

I had no means of weighing the fish and at a rough guess both the men and I put it at 50 Ib. 

The weight of the fish is immaterial, for weights are soon forgotten. Not so forgotten are the surroundings in which the sport is indulged in. The steel blue of the fern-fringed pool where the water rests a little before cascading over rock and shingle to draw breath again in another pool more beautiful than the one just left, the flash of the gaily-coloured kingfisher as he breaks the surface of the water, shedding a shower of diamonds from his wings as he rises with a chirp of delight, a silver minnow held firmly in his vermilion bill, the belling of the sambur are the clear tuneful call of the chital apprising the jungle folk that the tiger, whose pug marks show wet on the sand where a few minutes before he crossed the river, is out in search of his dinner. These are things that will not be forgotten and will live in my memory, the lodestone to draw me back to that beautiful valley, as yet unspoiled by the hand of man.

The Fish of my Dreams in the book Man-eaters of Kumaon by Jim Corbett

My smile says it all…………

Posted in Himalayas, travel Tagged , , |

Nanda Devi

Nanda Devi

Two Himalayan classics on Nanda Devi: The Ascent of Nanda Devi by H W Tilman (1937) and Nanda Devi by Eric Shipton (1936)

Among the books on my shelf are two first editions of Himalayan classics on Nanda Devi (7816m), a beautiful mountain in the Kumaon Himalaya, India. I grew up in the hill town of Nainital and I could see this peak from the hill tops around town, so this mountain and these books have a special significance to me. The fist is The Ascent of Nanda Devi by H W Tilman (Macmillan, 1937) and the second is Nanda Devi by Eric Shipton (Hodder & Stoughton, 1936).

Nanda Devi

This first edition is signed by Charles Houston, the expedition leader

Bill Tilman’s The Ascent of Nanda Devi, a first edition, is signed by Charles Houston, the expedition leader. At the time Nanda Devi was the highest mountain ever climbed.

Nanda Devi

Nanda Devi (7816m), Kumaon Himalaya, India

This is the view of Nanda Devi (7816m) on the right and Trishul (7120m) on the left from Kasar Devi near the town of Almorah in Kumaon. Trishul was first climbed in 1907 by A L Mumm, T G Longstaff and was the highest peak climbed at the time. The record was broken in 1937 with Tilman’s ascent of Nanda Devi.

Posted in books, Himalayas, Historical photography, Photography, travel, trekking Tagged , , , , , |

Lasser Yangti valley

Camp in the upper reaches of the Lasser Yangti valley

Camp in the upper reaches of the Lasser Yangti valley

I am starting a new series of photos of spectacular campsites that I had the privilege to sleep at during my treks and expeditions. Here is the first: This was a campsite in the upper reaches of the Lasser Yangti valley in Kumaon Himalayas, India.

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Map of the location

Posted in Campsites, Himalayas, Photography, travel, trekking Tagged , , , , , , , |

Caravans of the Himalaya

Another beautiful book on my shelf is Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (Thames and Hudson, 1994) an account of their two year stay with the Dolpo-pa nomads who live in the Himalayas and on the Chang Tang plateau in Tibet. Eric Valli is well known for his book on the honey hunters of Nepal. Visit the author’s website for more fantastic photography.

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

The sky will be my roof; the earth my bed;
The grass, my soft pillow.
Like the clouds and the streams
I will traverse these immense deserts alone.
– Ekai Kawaguchi

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Karma and other villagers aim for the demon’s heart, to kill the evil spirits that are hunting Sara

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Little Karma climbs the Kabre La (17,000 ft)

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

The yaks sometimes use a trail near the lake Ringmo

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Curious villagers are sheltered from the rain while watching the caravan pass

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Tilen and his yaks en route to the land of grain

Caravans of the Himalayas by Eric Valli and Diane Summers (1994)

Three generations are shown in this picture

Posted in books, Himalayas, travel Tagged , , , , , , |

The same Himalayan view 100 years apart

I was looking through my beautiful copy of A L Mumm’s book Five Months in the Himalaya: A Record of Mountain Travel in Garhwal and Kashmir on his 1907 expedition to climb Trishul in In the Indian Himalaya. I realised that back in 2007 I had taken a very similar photograph of Nanda Ghunti (6309 m) and Trishul (7120 m). Here they are, the same view 100 years apart.

Trishul and Nanda Ghunti

Trishul (7120 m)and Nanda Ghunti (6309 m) by A L Mumm 1907

A L Mumm, T G Longstaff and  Charles Bruce supported by three Alpine guides and a number of Gurkhas made the first ascent of Trishul in 1907. They climbed the northeast flank and reached the summit on June 12. The first ascent of Trisul (7,127 m), was the highest summit to have ever been climbed up till that point and the record stood for the next 21 years. This was the first expedition to use supplementary oxygen on a Himalayan expedition.

Trishul (7120 m)and Nanda Ghunti (6309 m)

Trishul (7120 m)and Nanda Ghunti (6309 m) by Amar Dev Singh in 2007

I took this photograph on my trek to Roop Kund and Kuari Pass during the 1500km trans Himalayan expedition. This camp was somewhere between Bedni Bugyal and the village of Kanol. I cropped my photograph to match the older version.

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Five Months in the Himalaya by A L Mumm, 1909

Posted in Himalayas, Historical photography, Photography, travel Tagged , , , , , , , |